Losing weight is one of the most difficult things to start, maintain, and follow-through. There are over 100 diets that offer a way of eating that promotes weight loss. But with so many types of diet out there, how do you know which one works for you?
Luckily, there is a weight loss approach that does not focus on what food you can keep. Rather, it focuses on when you can eat. This approach is called intermittent fasting.
Is this weight loss methodology right for you? Is this what will finally help you get a breakthrough
Read on to find out!
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or IF is one of the most popular health and fitness trends nowadays. It is not done not just to lose weight, but to improve overall health. Unlike other diets that specify which foods to eat, this diet is more about regulating your eating times.
Intermittent fasting or some form of it has been around for a long time. Ancient people didn’t have today’s modern conveniences. If they were unsuccessful in hunting for their food, they would sometimes go for days without eating.
Therefore, part of human evolution is to not eat for an extended period of time. The three meals a day concept is a slightly more modern concept.
Why did intermittent fasting become popular?
The main amazing thing about intermittent fasting is that it talks about WHEN to eat, not about WHAT to eat. That means that in theory, no matter what you eat, it’s acceptable as long as you are in your eating window.
Plus, studies have shown that practicing intermittent fasting results in up to 8% weight loss over a period of six months. Compared with other weight loss programs, the weight lost through this method is more significant.
What are the benefits of eating only during specific blocks of time?
Studies show that intermittent fasting has powerful effects physically (body and brain) and may even prolong a person’s life. We are not just talking about weight loss but about other benefits as well.
For example, those who practice this method experience an increase in human growth hormones which leads to fat loss and muscle gain. Body fat stored in our bodies is easily consumed as well due to a drop in insulin level. Fasting also promotes the cellular repair process.
In addition, intermittent fasting promotes gene function that is connected with longevity and protection against diseases, including cancer and diabetes. It also promotes heart and brain health, with the latter having improved cognitive functions and memory. There is also a positive effect on physical performance and helps address obesity.
How does one do intermittent fasting?
There are actually several methods of intermittent fasting. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular ones.
1. Time-restricted eating
This approach provides you with a window of time when you can eat. Time-restricted eating can be done as often as you want in a week. You can start out once or twice a week until you reach a certain number of days where you feel comfortable with eating only during the prescribed window hours.
The most popular is the 16/8 method when you fast for 16 hours a day, usually skipping breakfast. This method allows you to have a window time of 8 hours where you can eat, preferably something that is good for you.
There is also a 14/10 method. It is a more relaxed version of the 16/8 method but follows the same principle.
2. Twice a week method
Also known as the 5:2 diet, this method is done by identifying two non-consecutive days of the week where you consume only 500 calories. During fasting days, meals with 200 and 300-calorie high-fiber and high-protein meals can be consumed.
You can eat normally for the other five days of the week.
You have the freedom of choosing the days you feel is more suitable for you to fast. Just make sure that they are non-consecutive days.
3. Alternate day fasting
Another intermittent fasting approach is what is known as alternate day fasting. It involves not eating for a full 24 hours once or twice a week.
Alternate day fasting can even be done every other day. You refrain from eating on fasting days and eat whatever you want, in moderation preferably, on non-fasting days.
It is considered an extreme method of intermittent fasting. It is advisable that individuals who are considering this method consult with a medical professional before embarking on this eating pattern.
Is intermittent fasting for you?
Now that you know more about intermittent fasting, the big question, once again, is if it is right for you.
Well, let’s look at IF as a whole. You will eat fewer meals because of this method. This means a lower calorie intake, which in turn generally results in weight loss.
It is also much easier than most diet plans as it does not restrict what you can eat. There is no need for any elaborate preparation which makes most diets difficult to sustain.
If your goal is to lose weight, enjoy a healthy lifestyle, and have the discipline to sustain the eating pattern, then intermittent fasting might just be the health and weight loss approach for you.
However, intermittent fasting is not for everyone.
While intermittent fasting is a popular method of weight loss for many individuals, it is also not for everyone. This method may work for some but is not guaranteed to work for all who try it. For example, you may not be losing too much weight even after a year of intermittent fasting.
If that’s the case, maybe it is time to assess if sticking with this method might still be beneficial. You might have better results if you try a different method.
Intermittent fasting is also not recommended for people with eating disorders. Individuals with other medical concerns should also think twice before getting into intermittent fasting.
Studies also show that women may not benefit as much from this eating pattern as men do. Women who are trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding should tread carefully with this eating pattern.
And as we always say, anyone who wants to try this particular method (or any weight loss method) should seek the advice of a medical professional before proceeding.
If you need another method of weight loss, get in touch with us at Davtyan Medical Weight Loss and Wellness.
The health and weight loss benefits of intermittent fasting are compelling. But before proceeding with this eating pattern, it is good to talk this over with someone who is knowledgeable and can support your health and weight loss journey. And to be safe, it is always a good idea to discuss with a medical professional as it involves your health and wellbeing.
If you need another methodology for weight loss, we encourage you to contact us at Dr. David Davtyan Medical Center. We do plenty of procedures that are not only guaranteed to work for your weight loss concerns but are also proven safe.
Contact us today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you soon.